Whatever Happened to Smelt?
Remember when the smelt run was a major event? Our parents and their friends would come back with bucket loads of the skinny, silver fish, crammed in so tight that they would spill over when the lid was lifted.
And how was it, that the responsibility of cleaning them was laid upon anyone that could wield a pair of scissors? Cutting and snipping removing the insides, all the while leaving bones and scales in tact. A less than appetizing thought to anyone that had never experienced the tasty end result.
Today the Michigan smelt have diminshed greatly in numbers. Runs of yesterday seem to be more like a trickle. Our smelt in restaurants are imported from Canada. That being said, they are no less tasty today and that friends, is what I had for lunch.
Without the hands pruned from the constant reaching in the bucket for the next fingerling little fish, that by itself was less than a meal. Without reaching for scissors or getting yelled at by my dad, for not cleaning them good enough. All of that a fond, distant memory. One that still brings a smile to my face with every bite.